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Confusion forces city to issue ‘user guide’ for Chicago’s first shared street

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While the Argyle Streetscape has many proponents, recent headaches have many residents looking for answers

After three years of planning and construction, Uptown’s newly opened Argyle Streetscape has some users baffled, prompting the offices of Alderman Harry Osterman (48th) and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) to release an illustrated explanation of how to properly use the revamped thoroughfare.

The $3.6 million project, penned by Site Design Group Ltd., widened sidewalks to 15 feet and eliminated curbs to place pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists on a single landscaped plane.The finished product, however, has some motorists confused to where they should park and what direction they should face.

According to a report by Uptown Update, the following clarifications have been issued from Osterman along with a handy diagram illustrating the do’s and don’ts of using the Argyle Streetscape:

  1. Argyle is open to two-way traffic. Cars should not be parked facing east on the north side of the street.
  2. The narrow feel of the street can be attributed to cars not parking in the correct spot. They should be parking against the darker grey stripe of pavers rather than the lighter grey stripe. I've attached an informational flyer you can include with your statement. [see above] We are working with CDOT to develop something simpler, but this should do the trick in the meantime.
  3. We're working to coordinate some volunteers to help us direct parking to start to correct the problem.
  4. We are also working with CDOT to determine what kind of additional permanent or temporary signage is required to help drivers easily understand how to use the Shared Street.

Clearer signage is certainly one thing, but volunteers standing by to direct folks how and where to park? Yikes.